Monday, January 5, 2004
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Drudge gets results from MoveOn.org
Matt Drudge writes about another ad at MoveOn.org -- as part of their contect for the best 30-second attack ad against Bush -- that compares Bush to Hitler. The key part:
This was (NOT: SEE CORRECTION) one of MoveOn.org's fifteen finalists for the ad competition.
Or was it? If you now go to MoveOn's page of commercial finalists, you will note that the ad in question appears to have been yanked. It should have the url:
But the sequence of ads skips from id=01 to id=03.
Damn!! I thought I had my first Godwin award nominee!!
Well, at this rate, I seriously doubt that the Nazi analogy well will run dry in 2004.
CORRECTION: MoveOn.org has released a statement saying that the Hitler ad was never a finalist:
My apologies for the error.
UPDATE: Ralph Peters is definitely a nominee:
posted by Dan on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM
Godwin Award Nominee - I hate Hitler and Nazi Germany comparisons as much as anyone, but sometimes I think that people take this way too seriously. There was a recurring character on Seinfeld, the ‘soup Nazi’. This is obviously a joke, and since some writers and actors on the show are Jewish I don’t think they were offended by this comparison. People need to realize that the term ‘Nazi’ has now come to mean not only the National Socialist party that ruled Germany for those years but also any extremely strict rule, law or person. Hence the ‘Soup Nazi’ of Seinfeld or the ‘Anti-smoking Nazis’ in California and New York – and that analogy is not far from the truth since the ‘real’ Nazis and Hitler himself were against smoking.
This is not the same as groups like Moveon.org comparing George W. Bush to Hitler, etc…
PS I already emailed this to you at andrewsullivan.com thanks for your great blogposted by: Dave on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Yeah it was a stupid ad. On the other hand, this morning while reading your blog I was hoping you might propose a corollary to Godwin's Law:
Drezner's Lemma: Anytime an argument claims that a retired general of the United States hates the United States, the argument is over, with the claimant losing.posted by: anne.elke on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
How about reworking Johnson's celebrated aphorism: "Accusations of Nazism are the last refuge of the electorally desperate" ?posted by: fingerowner on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Jack Rosen has a piece on the ad in today's WSJ op-ed page. Maybe that, more than Drudge, was responsible for its being pulled?posted by: Josh Chafetz on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
While the pulled ad may not qualify for a nomination, the comments by a Brazilian Judge in response to the new photograph and fingerprint checks of the United States certainly qualify. Judge Julier Sebastiao da Silva said, "I consider the act absolutely brutal, threatening human rights, violating human dignity, xenophobic and worthy of the worst horrors committed by the Nazis." Talk about a complete overreaction.
The list of Bush attack ads at www.bushin30seconds.org also skips #16. It goes from www.bushin30seconds.org/view/15_small.shtml to www.bushin30seconds.org/view/17_small.shtml .
Anyone know what the missing #16 is?posted by: David on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Certainly a bunch of 'idealists' appealing to the angry masses that authoritarian imposition of a collectivist ideology is for our nations 'own good'... wait a minute?
Funny how familiar that sounds?
(D)emocrats are the "National Socialist American Worker's Party".posted by: DANEgerus on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Godwin gave awards? For, apparently, violating Godwin's Law?
Hey, I want to live in a country where you get an award for breaking the law!posted by: globecanvas on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
The RNC has a copy of the ad here:
Here's another MoveOn ad comparing Bush & Hitler:
And here's an RNC article about the whole thing:
www.rnc.org/moveonvideo.htmposted by: David on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Got another Godwin Award nominee for you, Dan.
I just learned of your new magazine. I am very impressed by both your message and the bold thoughtfulness with which it is presented - I would expect nothing less from the ACU. I am a conservative columnist and a college student, interested in your answer to the following supposition:
If a leader were to arise-a man who was a vegetarian, a radical environmentalist, a tea-totaling, nature worshiping, anti-smoking fanatic, a socialist, a proponent of abortion and of medical research utilizing fetal tissue, who would outlaw speech and ideas that he didn't approve of, an animal rights activist, a controversial artist and writer, a pagan who's harshest rhetoric was directed against Jews and Christians - he could rise quickly to the leadership of the Green Party. Indeed, such a man would find few critics among democrats, and would be welcomed by the faculty of most colleges. Such a man did once exist, and did become the leader of a modern nation only a few decades ago. That man was Adolph Hitler.
Unfortunately, this one may be disqualified because his letter isn't dated; I can't tell whether or not he'd qualify for 2004.posted by: Catsy on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
The URL got stripped from the comment. Here it is:posted by: Catsy on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
posted by: m on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Fans of irony have to love that the comparison of Bush to Hitler was wiped from existence, a Stalinist tactic.posted by: HH on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Not to mention, Henry, that labeling one's opponents - no matter how small the divergence in ideology - as fascists was a Stalinist tactic as well.posted by: Robin Roberts on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Well, I sat through them all. Some are actually fairly clever, but you know what stands out so much, Dan? The ubiquitous Apple PCs being used. Sometimes even done to the font that was used in all of those 1980's ads. Talk about your give-away. THe whole project reeks of clever sophomorism. You know, the kind done by actual college sophomores.
The Apple. Great little system, too bad it has become a code word for liberal. Victim of it's own marketing department, I guess.
Well, aren't we all always in danger of that?posted by: Tommy G on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Use an apple, go to jail!posted by: anne.elk on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
The URL that "m" posted above is one you really should take a look at, Dan. Ditto for any of you who are seething with outrage over the ad comparing Bush to Hitler.
Ralph Peters, editorializing in the NY Post, manages to not only do the same to Howard Dean, but throw in a comparison to Lenin in the bargain.
So while you're getting riled up over an ad submitted to MoveOn by someone who /wasn't endorsed or employed by MoveOn/, you may want to check whether the RNC is similarly repudiating Peters' rhetoric:
These are the techniques employed by Hitler's Brownshirts. Had Goebbels enjoyed access to the internet, he would have used the same swarm tactics as Dean's Flannelshirts.
In Dean's alternate reality, everything the Bush administration has done and might do is a failure, no matter the facts. The president's even responsible for Mad Cow Disease. It's Goebbels again: Just keep repeating the lies until the lies assume the force of truth.
Dean was already practicing the Big Lie. Montreal was just a stop on his journey from Munich to Berlin. He was already looking around for his Leni Riefenstahl.
Listen to Dean's rhetoric, especially on security and international issues. He never offers specifics; it's all hocus-pocus. He knows how best to deal with terrorists. We voters from the humble Volk need to take it on trust. He understands how to employ our military more effectively - despite dodging the draft during the Vietnam War.
Dean's going to improve our intelligence system, too. How? If pressed, he may go so far as to mention HUMINT - a term he doesn't understand - or the need for more Arabic speakers. Great, Herr Howie. We agree. But how does he intend to develop our human intelligence capabilities?
Dean began his campaign as an uncompromising Lenin. Now that his Bolsheviks have been organized, he's trying to pose as Gorbachev for the masses. But for anyone who pays attention to what this power-hungry huckster says and does, he comes off as a down-market Brezhnev.posted by: Catsy on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
For whatever it's worth, MoveOn.org is claiming that these extremely offensive ads were *not* ever finalists, but merely 2 of over 1,500 entries to their contest. To be more specific, according to today's "Wolf Blitzer Reports" on CNN:
Move-on officials say no ad featuring images of Hitler even came close to making its list of 15 finalists, announced today.
And in a statement, Move-on officials say:
"This is a baseless story generated entirely by the RNC. The ad was one of 1,512 submissions from around the country. No one on the Move-on staff can remember seeing it... It is not a Move-on ad and it was never distributed, promoted, nor paid for by Move-on."
Out of curiosity (and for no other reason), is there a Godwin Award equivalent for people who make references to socialism?posted by: David V on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Isn't there a law about starting a PC-Mac flame war ?posted by: ch2 on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
here's their apology.
excuse me, here's our apology.posted by: jason on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
This is nothing. If one would visit blogs such as dailykos, atrios, talkleft, etc., then one gets an impression that GOP=Devils not matter what. That Democrats=Angels no matter what.
Some GOP mistakenly think Dean is McGovern. He is not. Some think Dean is like Mondale. He is not. Dean is 100-times more powerful than both Gore and Bradley combined - Soon, the one left will have endorsed Dean.
Dean will win East, West, and Mid-west easily. South will be his because of his VP (Graham or John Lewis or Edwards).
I think with 100,000,000 blog visitors, Internet campaign, Angry youth/senior citizens, NPR, PBS, New York Times, etc. on your side, this time around GOP will lose handily.
GOP thought Dean was a dream candidate for them to run against. It is. But for other side to run them out of town.
AKBposted by: Ali Karim Bey on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Comparisons of political opponents to Nazis are so cliched that I'm surprised that the RNC would try to make political hay out of the ad. The real tragedy is that thanks to the ovweruse of this Nazi analogy, many people believe the caricature of Nazis as incompetent, evil blowhards is accurate. The reality is that there are important lessons to be learned from the Naziu seizure of power in Germany - namely that the electorate can be easily manipulated by appealing to base human interests and targeting campaign promises to the prospective audience(i.e. the Nazis didn't campaign on the idea of antisemitism in German towns with large Jewish populations). Demonizing our leadership is not productive. Fighting against encroachments on our constitutional rights should not be reduced to partisan political bickering.posted by: James D on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
One quite appalling thing about this clip is that, in the clip, Bush (with upraised hand) appears to be saying "I, George Walker Bush, do solemnly swear ...."
Equating the sieg heil with the upraised hand of an American being sworn in as our head of state is telling regarding how moveon.org feels about democracy.
Now, I'm no flag-burning amendment supporter, but this is somewhat beyond that to my mind.
"... and the horse they rode in on."posted by: kobekko on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Dan is mistaken. The ad was not a finalist. The ad was not endorsed by MoveOn. It was a submission in an open process. Godwin's Law is violated by Republicans all the time as Dan points out in his update.posted by: elliottg on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
So to review this thread; if someone on the left uses the Nazi/Hitler/fascist trope he/she is an idiot and the winner of a Godwin. But if someone on the right uses the Nazi/Hitler/fascist trope its just a joke for crying out loud and socialism really is quite similar to nazism.posted by: cynical joe on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Well, cynical joe, Nazism is just shorthand for National Socialism, after all. Its not like there aren't any similarities or links.posted by: R C Dean on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Is the MoveOn defense right?
Democrats want to appeal to minorities. Jews are a minority -- a pretty vocal one, too, given that our entire voting bloc* seems to follow (for some inexplicable reason) the candidate that outwardly says they'll support Israel more. But when most Jews see or hear the word Hitler, they get an ashen taste in their mouth and they scroll it off the screen or change the channel. Quickly. We've had the lessons of the Holocaust pounded into our heads since Day One of religious school. Other people need to get that same ashen taste, even when they merely use Hitler as a comparison to someone else.
Comparing Bush to Hitler, in my opinion, only works on the unwashed masses. Jewish voters either (a) dislike Bush for other reasons or (b) will not vote for anyone using this sort of device. We're too smart for that.
Unfortunately, we're not smart enough to see that the Right is better for Israel -- since that's so bloody important. I visited my old temple's website yesterday to find a link to a Jewish calendar, and was appalled at the level of left-wing-itude I found there.
But then, they know their audience: older folks living in Miami/Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, who are wealthy and democratic, and they don't want to jeopardize their funding.
Kind of like politicians, when you think about it.
* Except for me. I don't vote based upon my opinion of a candidate's level of support for Israel. I've never been there. I don't plan to go. I don't support terrorism, but I don't think this needs to be a make-or-break issue. What's it to me?posted by: J on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Well, cynical joe, Nazism is just shorthand for National Socialism, after all. Its not like there aren't any similarities or links.
No, there really aren't, and I'm glad you realize that. Any examination of the Nazi Party and Hitler's rule that looks beyond the superficiality of what it's named will be sufficient to realize that they did not want nor end up advancing a socialist agenda at all. Similar to the misnomer of "compassionate conservatism" being used to sell Bush (who is anything but a conservative beyond his pandering to the religious right and passion for tax cuts), Hitler used the name of The National Socialist German Workers' Party because he knew it would get more votes. Once he was in power, anything resembling actual socialism was dropped in favor of Hitler's radical personal agenda, and the official title of the party was changed to simply the "Nazi" party.
posted by: Catsy on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
They called themselves Socialists for their health.
Peters is clearly off-his-rocker and the comparison is ridiculous. At the same time, the Deanies' intolerance of criticism is disturbing.posted by: HH on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
J Mann - MoveOn.org is clearly lying.posted by: HH on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
That is a baseless accusation which would probably be actionable if anyone cared. Anyone who has coded any file links could think of good reasons that there would be missing indexes. Furthermore, no cache exists indicating that these were ever finalists, nor has anyone come forward to indicate that they ever saw it listed as one of the finalists. Dan is pretty close to lying here in his uncorrected entry claiming that this was a finalist based on no evidence whatsoever except a missing index number.posted by: elliottg on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
I'm skeptical of MoveOn's URL numbering, myself. OTOH, the Bush Nazi ad was one of the ones I rated. I gave it low marks and its average wasn't very high at the time, so I don't see how it could have climbed up.posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
One of the biggest arguments over the last few years, on the opinion pages and on Usenet, tends to pop up when the name of Hitler is invoked as a standard for comparison. The usual leftist mantra runs that when we compare (insert Hillary here) to Hitler, ala "Hitlery", it's a sure sign that the speaker is running out of options, and has certainly lost both the argument and any crediblity inside or outside of said discussion.
So here comes MOVEON, hmm?
MOVEON, of course is swearing they didn't know, they're not responsible, they regret no having caught the ads before they made it to the site, and so on.
MoveOn.org spokesman Trevor Fitzgibbon said, "we had no idea the Hitler thing even existed."
So, what Rock have you been living under, Trevor? Have you even been reading the output of your rank and file supporters? A look in alt.politics will give you the clue... Even a shallow search of Google's Usenet portal displays 328,000 such posts, most going back years.
A similar search on the web pages shows an even larger number of hits. I find it hard to fathom that a group of people so centered on the net wouldn't know this kind of non-thinking was out there.
Sorry, this innocent act doesn't wash. This is Soros driving this.
But here's the bottom line: Even if you assume MOVEON's innocence in the matter...(a large unwarranted assumption, in my view) this incident still exposes what is driving the left. Sheer hatred, and nothing more.
This is not love of country driving these people, it's hatred for it.
Consider their plight;
Bush has Iraq in hand, and we now know where the WMD are, (Syria) that the left has been claiming Mr Bush was lying about.
The Afghan people have a new constitution, and the Taliban, what there is left of them, are on the run.
Their supports removed, the PLO is no longer a major factor.
Libya has fallen into line.
Korea, as well.
Bush has managed to get a drug bill into law that the left has never been able to, even when they held power in all three branches, by a wider margin than the Republicans do today, indicating the success rates they'll have at getting the job done when given more of a majority.
Bush has the Domestic economy flying high, the markets are sailing along as they have not done since Ronald Reagan was in office.
Speaking of which, the American public need not be concerned anymore about their president having the sexual behavior of the average stray terrier; respect for the office has now been reinstated; Americans are feeling pretty good about their country as a result, and the polls are continuing to show this week on week.
All these trends are looking like they will continue to improve, with Bush at the helm, and all they can offer is movement away from policies and attitudes that are proving correct at every single turn; any move away from what Mr Bush is doing is clearly shown as counter productive. But what else can the Democrats offer?
In any election, the task set before anyone seeking to oust an incumbent, is to convince the voting public that moving away from the incumbent and his policies, are in the interests of that voting public, and the country as a whole.
So, the Democrats are desperate because, bluntly, their task of explaining to the voter why replacing the man responsible for all this good news, is in their best interest, is getting ever more impossible, and frankly downright laughable.
And in the doing, the Democrat's positions and complaints are looking ever more like the traitorous, raw, power lust it is.
But think; If we're to take them at their word of just a few short Monica kneepad sessions ago, they're telling us, they're running out of options, and have certainly lost both the argument and any crediblity inside or outside of said discussion.posted by: Bithead on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
The Hitler ads were never finalists and were rated low. Any evidence to the contrary has failed to materialize.
Shorter bithead. Look, there's Chewbacca.posted by: elliottg on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
WILL DREZNER POST A CORRECTION?
This was a VERY misleading post. I had come to expect intellectual honesty from this blog, but this is a real dissapointment.
You point to no evidence at all to suggest these two adds were part of the 15 finalists, you only suggest through innuendo that they were. Pathetic.
If the RNC has evidence that these were part of the 15 finalists then surely they would post screenshots. But they haven't.
I thought Drezner was an honest Republican.posted by: JHC on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
I hardly see how the visitors of MoveOn rating the Bush/Hitler ad low reflects well on MoveOn itself, since MoveOn decided to include the ads in the first place.posted by: Robin Roberts on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Dan, thank you for the correction.posted by: elliottg on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
And was this indeed an isolated case among Democrats, their innocent act would be far more trustworhty. Of course, it's NOT isolated.
MOVEON is a group paid for by a man dedicated to getting W out of office any way he can, at any cost. Including aparently, at the cost of honesty. I submit the opinion that most in the DNC are similarly committed.
The two Google searches as I mention, as well as a soyurce I should hvae thought of... DU... should put to rest any ideas that this Bush=Hitler thing is an isolated event. The evidence is that they knew the content of these ads and so posted them.
MOVEON actually having the testicular fortitude to admit that the ads were placed high on the lists or not, is not the issue; I'd not expect them to be honest.
The issue was and remains that this kind of non-thinking is rampant in the far left in general, and the DNC in particular.
...and I predict this will not be the last example of it before November, as the Democrats get more desperate.
What else is great, Bithead, is the difference between Ed and Terry.
G-man's infectious enthusiam speaks well for the RNC. Taking a 'gut-shot' question, by saying " You know, Peter, that's a real problem, and that's why we're working hard on it" is the way to defuse an issue - not the DNC's "Well...we don't see that as a major problem".
Under his stewardship, the GOP is going to have to replace that elephant with the Thing : It's clobberin' time.
Shorter 'lefties': "I'm an extremely unhappy person."posted by: Berndt on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
I saw and rated the Hitler ad, too, about two weeks ago. At the time, it was rated very low -- well below the median of the 100 or so ads I rated.
Barring an incredible concentration of spam voting over the following week or so, there is no way this ad was a finalist. Sorry to disappoint.
I keep hearing that conservatives have a more realistic world view because they've been forced to listen to liberals employed by the mass media. And yet all I hear is demonization; liberals as "others" who hold bizarre and incomprehensible worldviews. As for me, I'm a liberal, and I thought the ad was ridiculous; all my liberal friends had the same view.
The guy who made the video is (obviously) an outlier. Once you start defining your opponents by the extremists at their fringe, you turn American politics into Ann Coulter vs. Michael Moore. How could that possibly be good for America?posted by: TedL on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Which then raises the obvious question;
Where are the Democrat rank and file speaking out on the news channels, and in the public forums? There are few; because so many of them don't disagree with the portrayal of Bush as worse than Hitler.
No, the silence on this one frm them, too, will remain and speaks volumes, I think. I think it raises serious questions about the defenses of Soros and his attack troups by people in here, and the ones I've seen on the news channels and on the Usenet.
As for defining by the fringe, allow me to point out that 'radical' is from words meaing, literally, "from the root'.
These ads under discussion here, are if nothing else, radical left, and demonstrate clearly where the roots of the Democrat party are today.
Here's a few examples of Democrat rank and file:
(the last one, be forewarned is particularly weird.)
If you're uncomfortable with the picture being drawn, perhaps a re-examination of position is in order. Ask yourself a fundimental question, that I'll pose as a rethorical one: What is it you're supporting?
I'll second Tom A's nomination of the Brazillian judge for the award.posted by: Mark Byron on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
To Dan Drezner and Robert Tagorda,
Robert was sure that many more Republicans would condemn Ralph Peters than left wingers would condemn MoveOn. On his blog there was one lonely post by Matt Stinson. On yours of @45 omments some are aginst Peters but they seem to be those of us on the left and not one from a right minded colleague.
So far he's losing his bet.posted by: Debra on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
I hereby condemn Ralph Peters as does just about anyone else "on the right," (d-uh)... is anyone making excuses for his insanely over-the-top rhetoric?... now it's time for MoveOn and its supporters to condemn Symbolman's outrageous Bush=Hitler ad... that's the Symbolman accepted as a finalist in the MoveOn contest.posted by: HH on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Dan, moveon.org is lying to us. they claim they were never finalists, but go to their site and run your cursor over the ads. This is what you will see:
The point is, notice there are 3 gaps in the sequence. So there are 14 ads total, but it counts up to 17. Why 3 gaps? Because they explain that one ad had to be pulled for copyright issues. So that leaves 2 unexplained gaps. And those were the pulled ads.
They were finalists, not merely 2 of the 1,500 submissions. And moveon.org is simply lying about that, and badly.posted by: A.W. on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
sorry, i just realized i told you what you kind of knew.
But this is my question. Why do you buy what they said? i don't.posted by: A.W. on 01.05.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
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